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New Report Ranks Which States Give Babies the Strongest Start in Life [downloadable]

reportbabies422The state a baby is born in makes a big difference in whether that child gets a good start in life, according to a new report.

The State of Babies Yearbook: 2019 was released this week by Zero To Three, a nonprofit that supports early-childhood development, and Child Trends, a nonprofit research center.

The report, which is billed as the first of its kind, ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on how babies born there fare in the categories of good health, strong families, and positive early-learning opportunities.

But just how important is the state where a baby is born?

“It is pretty significant,” said Myra Jones-Taylor, the chief policy officer at Zero To Three, who led the federal policy team behind this report. “There are great, wide ranges between how babies are faring from state-to-state.”

The  report finds that only 17 percent of infants and toddlers in Mississippi received a developmental screening in the last year, while nearly 59 percent did so in Oregon.

The report also provides statistics about the nation’s youngest residents:

  • 45 percent of infants and toddlers are classified as poor or near poor
  • 38 percent of infants and toddlers are read to daily
  • 9 percent live in grandparent-headed households

Each state is ranked ranked under the three categories and also receives an overall ranking: G for growing, R for reaching forward, O for improving outcomes and W for working effectively.

States that are classified as either growing or reaching forward are below the national median on selected indicators. The researchers examined nearly 60 indicators under the three categories, including things such as the infant mortality rate, housing instability (infants and toddlers who have moved three times since birth), and states with paid family leave.

The report also includes a snapshot for each state that details where each state stands on these indicators.

Excerpted from “New Report Ranks Which States Give Babies the Strongest Start in Life” in Education Week online. Read the full article. Download the report, State of Babies Yearbook: 2019.

Source: Education Week | New Report Ranks Which States Give Babies the Strongest Start in Life, https://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/early_years/2019/03/new_report_reveals_which_states_give_babies_the_strongest_start_in_life.html | © 2019 Editorial Projects in Education

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